Watch Nicolas Cage battle giant animatronic animals in Willy's Wonderland teaser
Nicolas Cage battled John Travolta in Face/Off, homicidal criminals in Con Air, and a reality-warping shade of purple in the recent Color Out of Space. But the Oscar-winner's latest onscreen adversaries in the film Willy's Wonderland may be Cage's most memorable to date: outsized animatronic animals!
"Nic plays a janitor who gets trapped in this children’s funhouse-amusement park with Willy, the animatronic weasel, and his gang," says director Kevin Lewis. His gang? "I call them the Psychopathic Animatronic Misfits," continues Lewis. "You’ve got Willy the Weasel, Artie the Alligator, Gus the Gorilla. There’s eight of them, and they spring to life and attack him and others, and Nic has to battle his way out. It’s like man versus machine! They’ve been doing this in the past and they picked the wrong guy: Nic."
Lewis regards the film as a homage to the movies he watched growing up.
"It’s a fun, wacky, crazy rollercoaster ride movie," he says. "Willy’s Wonderland is like a retro-throwback to the ‘80s. I grew up with Sam Raimi and Evil Dead and those kinds of fun ‘80s horror and action horror films. This was made — and I truly mean this — this was made by a fanboy for all the fanboys and -girls. A producer friend of mine, Jeremy Davis, brought me the project, and we both fell in love with it. We worked on it, we got Nic attached, he really fell in love with the project, and saw our vision of it, and we got it going. Nic’s been a fantastic partner on this movie. It’s vintage Nic. He just brings so much to this movie. I think people are going to really dig it."
Lewis shot the film in Atlanta at the start of the year.
"We wrapped right before the pandemic hit," says the director. "It was crazy. We wrapped, and I came home, and then within two weeks we were in lockdown. Crazy."
The movie was originally called Wally's Wonderland. Why the switch?
"Yeah, it was called Wally’s Wonderland, and we just decided at the end of the day, we’d change it to Willy’s." says Lewis. "I think it was just, you know, Wally’s World and stuff. We felt that Willy’s was a better fit. Nic liked Willy’s too, so we went with Willy’s."
The filmmaker reveals he would be more than happy to oversee a sequel, should Willy's Wonderland prove a hit.
"If the movie gods decide it, I think there’s many more adventures for Willy and his gang," says the director.
Willy's Wonderland is written by G.O. Parsons and costars Beth Grant and Emily Tosta, among others. The film will be released next year. Exclusively watch the teaser for Willy's Wonderland above.
Video courtesy of Screen Media.
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